Annual Meeting

Abstract of the Presidential Address at the 2020 Annual Meeting

“Peak Document and the Future of Historical Research”

John R. McNeill | Nov 8, 2019

Among the ongoing revolutions in historical research is the flood of new information about the human past that comes not from written documents but from the natural sciences. What might this mean for the profession of history, our research and interpretations of the past, and our training and hiring practices? Which fields of history will be most, and least, affected? How can historians avoid the perils, without ignoring the promise, of using data from genetics, the paleosciences, and elsewhere?

Norman Ross prepares the fossil of a young dinosaur, about seven or eight million years old, for exhibition in 1921.

Norman Ross prepares the fossil of a young dinosaur, about seven or eight million years old, for exhibition in 1921. National Photo Company Collection/Library of Congress. Image cropped.

The presidential address will take place on Saturday, January 4, 2020, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the New York Hilton's Trianon Ballroom.


John R. McNeill is president of the AHA.


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